Archive | May, 2012

faking it

Most women have that one item of makeup that they feel naked without.

For some it is lipstick.

Others, it’s powder.

For me, I’m a mascara girl. No doubt about it.

The other day I came home from having my eyelashes tinted darker {it didn’t work} with no trace of mascara on and after a few minutes of chatting with the boys, No. 1 said, “what’s wrong with your face? It looks like your eyes shrunk!”.  Now if that doesn’t confirm my need for mascara, nothing will. Good grief, child. Someone needs to teach that boy what not to say to a makeup-less mommy!

To his credit, my eyes look rather lost without my non-existent eyelashes. Actually, they are there – long and thick – but they are so light they seem to disappear.

Enter lash extensions…

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all in favor of camping say ‘I’

Like many, many other families this past Memorial Day weekend, we traded in our insulated homes, our fluffy mattresses and modern conveniences like sinks and electricity for this crazy thing called camping.

{taken on our drive over to eastern washington}

Camping is a weird thing: we pack as few belongings as possible to go sleep in the dirt. In a nylon tent with only a zipper protecting us from danger. We cook food on a tiny gas stove and wash dishes in a plastic bin with cold water. We go to sleep with hair that smells of campfire and wake up bright and early when the sun comes up {and the seagulls dive bomb the campsite looking for scraps of food}.

It’s inconvenient. It’s a bit of work. It’s very dirty.

But it’s so good.

Time together outdoors with our families – without work or computers or phone service – just campfires and freeze tag and swimming in chilly lakes.  And s’mores. Don’t forget those. With peanut butter, please.

We went camping. It was inconvenient. It was a bit of work. It was very, very dirty.

But it was just what our family needed.

All in favor of camping, say ‘I’.

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ombre love {& a new JDC | Monthly collection}

It’s a trend that’s all over the place – and one that I find rather pretty.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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my favorite way to wrap a gift

A beautifully wrapped gift is always a pleasure to give and makes the recipient feel extra special.

I’ve noticed an influx of gift bags lately at parties and showers and I understand why … it takes extra time and the right supplies to wrap a gift the traditional way with paper and ribbon.  A gift bag makes it so easy.

But I can assure you, this wrapping method is just as easy as those gift bags and costs just a few dollars.

It is my favorite way to wrap clothes, stuffed animals, a small stack of books – anything smallish and odd shaped.

Here’s what you’ll need:

:: gift

:: tissue paper {two large sheets}

:: roll of cellophane

:: scissors, tape

:: ribbon, stickers or gift tag for embellishing

STEP ONE: layer two pieces of tissue paper {this will make it less see-through} on top of cellophane. Cut cellophane slightly larger than tissue.

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enjoying the lovliness of nature

It’s instafriday on Life Rearranged and so I thought I’d link up once again.

I have had my iphone for just about two months now and I’m pretty much in love. Mostly because the camera is so. darn. good. And super easy.  It is fun to snap photos in an instant of things that catch my eye.

What catches my eye the most lately is the amazing show that the springtime in the pacific northwest is putting on for us.  I suppose this happens every year, but as I get older, I appreciate the beauty of nature so much more.

Here are some of my favorites taken this week:

{amazingly ruffled tulip}

{euphorbia – one of my favorite perenials}

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chalkboard walls: love them or over them?

Chalkboard walls are everywhere. It is no wonder since chalkboard paint is readily available and one of the easiest {and cheapest} ways to transform a wall.

The first time I remember seeing chalk paint was a few years ago when Martha Stewart and her team shared how to make your own custom mix {latex paint + tile grout}.

Since then, the trend has caught on and it seems like it only continues to grow.

Do you remember this oldie but goodie from cottage living? One of my favorites. Love that barn door, too.

Layla at The Lettered Cottage used chalkboard paint to cover a wall in her kitchen, then hung stainless steel shelves over top – such a charming restaurant look.

Have you seen Holly Mathis’ redesign of her boys’ bedroom? She is amazing.

She did the custom chalk paint method and covered a wall with it.

Such a great playful/classic boy room.

Janelle at House of Fifty added a dark chalkboard wall in her husband’s office, then created a gallery wall on top. She even left some empty frames to write in notes. So clever.

Her entire house is pretty amazing and worth taking a peek at to get some great DIY ideas.

A few years ago I painted one wall in my office with chalkboard paint.

{more of my office here and here}

I like the moodiness of the dark wall and the contrast with the subtle but busy pattern on the other walls.

{same wall, just rearranged. Its a sickness.}

The only problem with it is that our walls are slightly textured and so the surface does not allow for easy chalk writing. So pretty much the wall goes unused. That would be my only tip when it comes to painting a wall with chalkboard paint – smooth off the texture first.

I’m still a fan of chalkboard walls. I think they are whimsical and classic all at once and I’ll be keeping mine for a bit longer. And maybe adding another to my boys’ room.

What about you?

Are you still a fan or over the trend?


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a lesson in losing the weight

Have you ever been to the point where you just feel spent? Like you have nothing left to offer? That there’s something weighing you down but you don’t know how to lose the weight?

I’m in that place.

This gnawing exhaustion crept up on me yesterday afternoon and continued into the evening.  I went through the regular motions … made dinner, picked up the house, oversaw piano practice, jammied the kids. Audrey was particularly playful and distracted during pj time and while she ran off, I laid my head down on her floor and had a conversation in my heart that went a little like this:

What is going on with me? Why do I feel so … hmmm … how do I feel?

Tired? Not exactly. I mean, I’m always up for a nap, but I’m not sure that would solve it.

Spent? Sort of. It has been a busy day, but that’s not quite it either. Hmmm…

Then a word was spoken to my heart:


The exhaustion I was feeling wasn’t just a physical tiredness. It is a heaviness of my soul.

I feel weary.

Weary because No 2 is in a back-talking phase and I don’t like it.

Weary because my two-year-old is an embarrassing disaster on errands.

Weary because she and her brother have eczema that keeps getting worse.

Weary because those few gained pounds from Maui aren’t coming off.

Weary because minutes after mopping the floors, they are dirty again.

Weary because the boys have cavities.

Weary because this great project we’re working on is taking forever to finish.

Weary because I’m a total failure when it comes to menu planning.

I hate to even admit these things because they are so insignificant in the scheme of things. A five-year-old in our community just had a brain tumor removed and here I am feeling exhausted because my floors are dirty. I am well aware that there are more pressing issues in this world to be weary about.

But I think that is precisely my problem.

There are bigger things to worry about and more important issues to talk to God about and so all of these pesky little worries just sit on my shoulders – waiting for me to fix them. They are insignificant, but when piled up, they get heavy. And burdensome. So when I just go about my days carrying these burdens, no wonder I’m feeling worn out.

I realize with all of these little problems, that when it comes down to it, I don’t have a solution for them. They are beyond my abilities, my understanding, my determination.

And I like solving things. Fixing things. Having everything smooth and fresh and peaceful.

A few days ago I popped in an old Psalty cd we haven’t listed to in a while. It’s one of my childhood favorites.

Ironically, these are the lyrics to one of the songs:

I will cast all my cares upon You.

I’ll lay all of my burdens down at your feet.

And anytime I don’t know what to do

I will cast all my cares upon You.

It is one of those elementary truths that somehow I have forgotten.

The Lord says we can and should share all of our burdens with him {which means tell him about them! Talk them through. Humble ourselves enough to recognize that we can not solve them all on our own}.

Not just the big stuff {financial pressure, brain tumors, infertility}

but the little stuff too {cavities, potty training, meal planning}.

Why He offers to take all of these burdens I will never fully understand. But I am so grateful that He gives us this promise:

The whole chapter of Isaiah 40 is great. Here is my favorite part:

We can get so busy in our day-to-day activities and there are lots of little hiccups throughout our days. Most resolve themselves, but sometimes they don’t.

Let my momentary weariness be a reminder to you to talk to God about your hiccups.

If you have worries {big or small} that you can’t handle the burden of any longer, I’m right there with you.

Don’t carry them alone.

You may not have instant answers or disappearing troubles, but I can assure you, you will have peace.

Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.

It’s truly the easiest form of weight-loss.

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giveaway time

1. floral foldover clutch from 83West 2. Geranium soap 3. beaded flower necklace from Glazed From the Heart 4. vintage art from Natura Prints 5. felt pom pom pin

6. lace tote bag from Glazed From the Heart 7. flower paper clips from The Poppy Chain Boutique

A few highlights from some super cute etsy shops:

If you like the bright and fun foldover clutch in the photo, you will love it in real life. There are many other cute fabric bags in the 83West shop. Click here to take a peek.

The lace tote bag and flower necklace came from Sharon at Glazed From the Heart. You can visit her blog here.

When you need a good vintage botanical print, Natura Prints is your place to look. Each image is taken from vintage books, digitally restored and enhanced and printed on quality paper. Start shopping here.

Those darling resin flower paper clips are a fun way to add charm to everyday paperwork … or you could try a pair of dainty earrings or cocktail ring. So many pretty flowery options here.

Thank you to these kind ladies who have offered items for this giveaway. If you have an item that may fit in a future giveaway, please email hello@jonesdesigncompany and we’ll take a peek.

One more thing …

The winner of the April Giveaway is Becca Owens

Congratulations! Please send me your address and I’ll mail out your package of wonderfulness.

No go enter the giveaway!

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the kids’ bath needs some style

Our upstairs bath looks like this:

Basic builder-grade everything.

This is considered the kids’ bathroom, but since we moved our master bedroom upstairs last fall and made our downstairs bedroom into a media room {great use of the space but I do miss our own bathroom!} we now all share this bath.

It is a good size, with lots of counter and storage space. But what it offers in function, it completely lacks in style.

Like this terrible formica that looks like a cross between quinoa and fish eggs to me … not a good look for the bathroom counter.

I have been wanting to do a little redo on this space – probably not a full renovation {as much as I’d like to} but something to make it more us.

While walking through Target the other day I saw these adorable cups:

For some reason, they just said kids’ bathroom to me. I bought one for the boys and one for the girl. I would love to somehow use these cups as the inspiration for the bathroom.

Then I clicked around pinterest for a bit and found these fabulous bathrooms to further inspire the space:







So I’m thinking white, blues, woven baskets, new lighting & mirrors, hardware on the cabinets, maybe wood planked walls {my fave} and a built-in between the sinks.

Totally doable.

We’ll see when I get to it …

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the one major downside of being a redhead

There are many things I like about having red hair.

The uniqueness.

The compliments.

The supposed higher pain tolerance that comes with it.

And I actually really do like the color of my hair. I would say it is my best feature and probably the thing that defines me most.

But what I don’t like is the one physical attribute that often accompanies redheadedness:

pale skin

Now I’ve heard that there is pasty-pale and pretty-pale and I’ve been told that I have the latter, but I’m not sure I buy it. Pale is pale and I’m pretty much convinced that everyone looks better tan.  The problem with redheads is that most of us don’t tan – we freckle. Again, I don’t hate my freckles; in fact I sort of like them.

But I sure wish I could get tan, too.

Before Maui my friends and I went against our better judgement and spent time in pure uv bliss {aka: laying in a tanning bed} in preparation for our trip. They all showed up tan … I just came with freckles.

I’m learning to embrace my paleness. It is part of who I am and I can’t do much about it {although I just discovered that there are artificial melanin injections to make you tanner – crazy but interesting}

What I can do is use self tanner.

Not all self-tanners work for pale skin – most turn out really orange/overly bronze for me.

I have only tried a handful of self-tanning lotions, sprays and foams {mostly drug store varieties} but I have found that Jergens Natural Glow firming lotion is my favorite so far.

It says it takes a few applications for the color to develop, but it actually shows up on me with just one coat. I like how subtle it looks … but could do without that strong self-tanning scent.

There are a million different products on the market that claim to give a natural tan and I’m always looking for one that is just right.  If you are the self-tanner type and have a favorite product, will you share your tanning secrets in the comments below?

Just in time for summer.

The fair-skinned girls of the world will thank you.

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what i wore {maui edition}

I had great intentions of having Ryan snap a photo of me each day for this post – somewhere scenic and beautiful and not just me standing awkwardly in front of a flimsy mirror like normal.

The first morning he did take this photo

but that was as far as we got.

It didn’t take me long to get in 100% vacation mode.

But I still thought a what i wore post would be fun to share my vacation outfits, so i’ve put together some photos for you. Sources are listed under each photo with links where available.

for the flight


jeans: emersonfry lowrise vintage | blouse: old navy {old} | shoes: DSW life stride romp wedge

to the club

dress: borrowed | shoes: payless {old}

to mama’s fish house

dress: nordstrom rack max studio | shoes: payless metallic wedges

to the luau

dress: old navy printed ruffle sundress | shoes: payless {old}

to casual dinner

shorts: jcrew 5″ chino | shirt: marshalls {old} | necklace: target {purchased recently, but can’t find it online} | shoes: payless {old}

to the zipline

zip-up: lululemon in stride jacket | capris: marshalls | flip flops: rainbow {old and very worn in}

to the snorkle trip

tunic: marshalls jordan taylor | sandals: gap outlet

to the bbq

shorts: banana republic factory store | shirt: target {old} | necklace: target | sandals: gap outlet

to the beach

dress: old navy {recent purchase, but can’t find online} | flip flops: rainbow

dress: target kimono dress | sandals: gap outlet

coverup: target ruffled tube dress | flip flops: rainbow

coverup: nordstrom riviera stripe tunic | flip flops: rainbow

beach accessories

sunglasses: banana republic | hat: san diego hat company large brim hat

beach bag: lands’ end canvas washed tote

to swim

old navy | rey swimwear | lands’ end canvas | old navy

And that is what i wore {maui edition}.

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the tastes of maui

You know you are getting old when the food you ate is one of the highlights of your trip.  Oh, but it was.

It was all so delicious … fresh, local, great flavor … and we indulged.

One of my friends commented that it was nice to see everyone eating again after months of getting our bodies Maui-ready! Eat, we did. A lot of it.

Here are some highlights of our meals, with a few recipes at the end.

Hula Grill, Kaanapali

We dined in the barefoot bar – a sandy floor with tables under grass hut roofs. Great atmosphere with live music and very friendly staff. The dinner was amazing, but so was the dessert.

{coconut creme brulee, tropical sorbet, macadamia nut brownie ice cream sandwich}

Definitely a must-try if you are on Maui.

Mama’s Fish House, Maui North Shore

We had heard many things about Mama’s Fish House – from “best meal of my life” to “not worth the hype” – but my best friend and her husband were up to it, so we spent one evening indulging in the Polynesian experience.

{my grilled fish with rice and bok choy}

Although it was expensive, I will say this was the best collective meal I have ever enjoyed.  The appetizers were amazing {my first time trying tuna sashimi}, our entrees were perfect and the best part was dessert. We tried a variety and each one was the best thing I had ever tasted.

This is a great restaurant for an indulgent date night.

Haliimaile General Store, upcountry

If you find yourself in Maui, be sure to take a drive through the upcountry {Paia, especially}. If/when we return, we’d love to find a bed & breakfast and stay here.  Sugarcane plantations, local farms and ranches surround the area with amazing views of the ocean – it is so tropical and beautiful. My aunt’s favorite restaurant on the island is the Haliimaile General Store located in this upcountry area so we just had to try it. The food was excellent and my coconut & lime blended drink was the best. They used toasted coconut to rim the glass – I’m stealing that idea someday.

Five Palms Restaurant, Kihei

{crab cake eggs benedict}

On our last full day, Ryan and I took a long walk along the beach then stopped for a late breakfast at the Five Palms Restaurant.  I have a thing for crab cakes and eggs benedict and when I saw the two combined on the menu, I knew I was in heaven. So over-the-top but amazingly delicious. Best breakfast of my life.

Because we were in the island spirit, on the night we hosted our friends for a bbq, we decided to take ques from the food we had already tried.

Ryan grilled flank steak and pineapple {so delicious grilled}, a friend made a traditional pico but added finely chopped pineapple and I put together my new favorite salad.

Tropical Salad

mixed spring greens
red onion, finely diced
avocado, chopped
navel orange, segmented
sliced almonds
toasted coconut

Just throw it all together in a big salad bowl and serve. You don’t even need dressing, but a light citrus vinaigrette would be delicious on it.  You could grill chicken and add that on top for a full meal.


At breakfast one morning there was coconut syrup. I love anything coconut, so I poured a little on my fresh fruit and sprinkled on toasted coconut. What a treat! This would also be great on pancakes.

Coconut Syrup {from}

1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Whisk together the coconut milk and cornstarch in a saucepan until the cornstarch is dissolved. Pour in the corn syrup, sugar, and coconut; bring to a boil, stirring continually. As soon as the mixture comes to a rolling boil, remove from heat. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Mine, too.
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hawaiian vacation {in photo & video}

Two years ago our group of friends were out to dinner and we realized that we all shared the same wedding year {well, except for me and Ryan – we are one year behind}.  Someone threw out the idea of taking a 10 year anniversary trip together to renew our vows in Vegas. It started as a joke, but soon the guys started talking and decided that a Hawaiian vacation was a much better option for the 10 year anniversary trip {well done, men}.  So this trip has been in the making for the past two years and I think we were all pleasantly surprised that it actually came together.

{our group on luau night}

Between the six couples, we have 17 children – all under the age of eight.  Coordinating our calendars to fit in a week+ getaway and finding childcare for our many small children sounded like it would be a challenge, but somehow it all worked fairly seamlessly. We were all so thankful to the grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and friends who took care of our babies while we enjoyed this much needed vacation.

The best part about traveling with a group was that we were able to spend time as a whole group, time by ourselves or time to break off into smaller groups for dinner.  Because we usually have 17 kids around, it was so nice to be able to start and finish a conversation in one try!

At the end of the trip, the last few couples sat around the pool asking what the most memorable part of the trip was. It was SO hard to answer. I think I could come up with a favorite part for each day. Seriously, it was the best trip ever.

So, I’ll just highlight some of the favorite moments:

On our first full day in Maui, Ryan and I went to dinner with our friends and then out to the only dance club on Maui. For the record, I like to dance, but I’m not a clubbin’ kind of girl. I stressed for weeks about what I could possibly wear from my closet to a club.  But I pulled it together and the night was quite possibly the most fun night of my life. I’m not even kidding.

{at the club}

We ate that night at my favorite restaurant of the trip, Hula Grill in Kaanapali.  The food was great, the atmosphere was even better, and I might have developed a small crush on the ukelele player who was entertaining us.

Those Hawaiian men are charmers.

The next day, we took a drive up to the north shore of the island.

Then up a long, winding and perhaps dangerous road to catch this view:

There is actually an estate on the top of that hill on the left. Can you imagine?

Once our entire group made it to the island, we had three full days of activities planned.

DAY ONE: poolside hangout at the Makena Golf Resort & luau at the Wailea Marriott


DAY TWO: zipline & dinner at Taqueria Cruz for taco tuesday and BYOB {seriously}

Ziplining was fun – best if done with a group since you are all roped in together for the morning.

Here I am on the first zip down:

Taqueria Cruz is this hole-in-the-wall taco place in Kihei that we loved. Especially the live music.

DAY THREE: snorkling trip to Molokini & bbq at our condo pool

We took the Pride of Maui snorkling tour … nothing fancy, but the crew on the boat were great and we had a fun time. The snorkling was not quite as good as we all expected but the experience was worth the trip.

A few months ago my parents bought a condo in Kihei so Ryan and I had a great place to stay and entertain our group for a bbq one night.

{the view from the condo pool}

Once our busy days were over, we tried out different beaches.

{perhaps my favorite beach – in Napili}

{cool lava rock beach south of Makena – best snorkling ever! Awesome coral, lots of fish and turtles, too. Called the dumps by locals}

{hawaiian green sea turtle with lots of pretty coral}

For your viewing pleasure, here is a video of this big guy:

And of course Big Beach {Makena} which is an island favorite

My girls are going to kill me for this, but I have to post it anyway.

A few things about this photo:

1. I wore a bikini. Check that one off my resolution list.

2. Notice how nicely tanned all my girlfriends are? I’m jealous.

3. For having 17 children, I’d say we look pretty good!

So many amazing memories, beautiful scenery, laughable moments, breathtaking views, the best food and friendships deepened.

But most of all, I loved having some time away with my love.

Even though he lost his wedding ring in the ocean.

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jet lag + house tour + may calendar

I know it is supposed to be Hawaii Week around here … and I truly have great intentions of making it that …

but I’m afraid I overlooked one teensy, tiny detail of traveling

jet lag + time zone changes.


The Pacific Northwest is only three hours ahead of Hawaii time and we’re struggling to make up the time difference. I can’t imagine what it is like for the couples we met from Delaware and Chicago!

So instead of doing a trip recap right now, I think I’ll go crawl into bed. Tomorrow seems like a great day for a recap.

I do want to mention that I am hanging out atAshley’s fabulous blog giving a little house tour today.

If you do not already read The Handmade Home, it’s a good one. Be sure to click around and say hello to the darling Ashley while you’re there.

{click the image to see our house tour}

Since this is the first day of May and I know how crazy this time of year can get, please feel free to download the JDC|Monthly May calendar.  It’s pretty, practical and best of all, free!

{click the image to download}

So enjoy your Tuesday and I’ll be back tomorrow with highlights and favorites from our Maui vacation.

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